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Mary Lyon

2-cent Mary Lyon stamp
The Mary Lyon stamp was issued on February 28, 1987.

“There is nothing in the universe that I fear, but that I shall not know my duty, or shall fail to do it.”

Mary Lyon (1797- 1849) was a leader in making women’s education accessible and equitable to that available to men. After teaching for more than twenty years, Mary established Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College) in Norton, Massachusetts in 1834. In 1837, she raised funds to found Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, where she served as president until her death. This school was notably different from other schools of the time, with a developed curriculum in science, mathematics, history, Latin and French. Mary also created an endowment ensuring that tuition would remain accessible for students. Hundreds of her graduates followed Mary’s example, becoming home missionaries and teachers who founded schools throughout the nation.